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Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble


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    Ashton Canal

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  1. billh

    Clockwork Starter

    We have a much bigger version of one of those. It's off a Ruston 6YC that powered a Sykes water pump. It's the size of a 7inch CAV electric starter with a winder mechanism on the back and I have no intention of trying to dismantle it.
  2. billh

    Stoppage At Marple Locks Not Now Ending Until 24th May

    Yes, I have a shed with a light. Marple locks have been closed to full length boats since October 2017. The lower Peak Forest was earmarked for dredging , starting last year, that has not happened though I understand some kind of (lack of) depth survey commenced last week. Up until quite recently , we had days out from Ashton to Marple bottom with deep draught boats and that certainly kept a vague channel on that route. There are two day hire boats with usually novice "drivers" operating on that length, they tend to wash mud into the channel, I think they must be zig-zagging to avoid submarines. The LPF has not been dredged for more than 40 years now apart from a little in the Romiley area. A major problem in the last year or so is C&RTs complete inability to maintain the canal full of water, this over a 10 mile pound. If the level drops by say ,4inches( this can happen over 24hours) the canal becomes a struggle or even unusable. At the risk of appearing to be a C&RT knocker, I have to say that the current standard of maintenance of the Ashton & Peak Forest is abysmal, in 50 years of knowing what's happening on my local canals ,C&RT now look to have no idea of the requirements of boats ,of all shapes and sizes in terms of navigation. Remember this (I know I'm harping on ) , width problems at Lock 11 were reported to C&RT around 3 years ago, repairs could have been commenced at the same time as lock 15. 15 was done but apparently nobody bothered to look at the long standing problems at 11. I despair! Now we're told they haven't even commenced dismantling the walls at 11. Late May opening? In your dreams! Apologies in advance to anyone offended by this post.
  3. billh

    Matty’s 1978

    Jones KL15 crane featured in some photos. Solid rubber tyre version, a rare item now. Wasn't there a dredger on the bank named Susan, converted from half an unknown (to me) boat?
  4. billh

    Boat called The Green Man

    There was a boat of that name moored for many years at Barnton near Northwich. A small wooden tug built in the 1980s by Ian Riley & A.N. Other at Runcorn ,the timber used in construction was Greenheart which may have influenced the name. Like George I have no clues as to its present location. Sorry , not a very useful post!
  5. billh


    To slightly confuse things: A/F spanners, for middle aged Listers (UNF/UNC) sizes are often described as "Imperial" spanners by current suppliers and still widely available from the usual sources. To me, Imperial properly describes Whitworth/BSF as found on super-annuated Listers, Kelvins etc. These sizes are a bit more specialist now and more expensive. I have a set of combination A/Fs badged RS (RS components) they are identical to Britool and have served me well for many years. Bill
  6. Needs some enthusiast to rebuild Monnow from the ironwork, then we can supply the still extant knees etc for the Motor Ribble. Hey presto , a Clayton pair🙂 Bill
  7. billh

    Ebay vintage engine sales

    The CoBos used a Crossley 8cylinder engine and Metrovic electricals . MV was just across Manchester in Trafford Park and the locos were assembled at the Dukinfield GCR wagon works. One loco, D5705 is undergoing restoration at the East Lancashire Railway, Bury.
  8. billh

    Ebay vintage engine sales

    Buses built in Stockport. Crossley-Premier engines was in Openshaw, East Manchester.Same originating company. Crossley cars are rather good . I had relatives who worked at both Crossley works , There was some tie up with AEC at Southall in the 1950's, Crossley bus engine models were dropped in favour of AEC and more recently, Rolls Royce took over the Openshaw works, closed it down and cleared the site. The Weaver ICI boat(Cuddington) at the Boat Museum has a Crossley direct reversing engine fitted , very nice it is too.
  9. billh

    Wood (and coal) burning stoves to be banned

    Drax burns 8000tons per day of biomass, plus a lot of imported coal in the unconverted boilers. I can't get close to that with the old Epping. Will grants be available to convert to acceptable solid fuels. and do I remember grants for new Baxi grates for open fires when smokeless zones came in ?
  10. billh

    Dredging the Chesterfield?

    Here's a link to dredging on the Chesterfield Canal over 100 years ago. http://www.pittdixon.go-plus.net/ac-maintenance/ac-maintenance.htm The dredger was taken to that canal from the Ashton Canal by rail over the GCR's Woodhead route. The dredging may have been in connection with the Great War creating increased traffic on the Chesterfield. Do we know if that was the case?The GCR in those days would have a legal liability to maintain the navigation.
  11. The story I was told was this: a rake of wagons were let go down the Manchester Collieries railway by vandals in the 1960s, the railway was still in use though the boat coal loading facility may not have been. The wagons fell into the basin and one of them (pictured) was not recovered at the time. Strange to relate, that wagon WAS recovered at the time these pictures were taken and it now resides at the Astley Green Colliery Museum, the only "vehicle" to have been rescued, none of the boats survived. I remember seeing boats 3 deep on a visit there. Box boats,complete with containers on top of others and a topping off of L & L short boats,all rather dramatic. Also at Astley Green are the remains of the NCB motor tug "Fred" , this was a box boat motorised with a Gardner 2L2(?),that engine went into NB Monarch when Fred was sold in early 70s.
  12. billh

    oil pressure and flow gpm

    I don't think references to Ford Transits and Mack trucks are relevant to the circa 80 year old National engine fitted in Towy. Talk of canister oil filters is over complicating matters. In my opinion what BB needs to do is to is dismantle and clean all the original lubrication system, fresh sae30's oil in, adjust the pressure on the gauge to the figure I quoted and go and worry about something else on his nice old wooden boat.
  13. billh


    IIRC Lancing belonged to James(Jim) Hewitt at that time. He worked for BW and was based at the Marple section office. More recently he wrote the book "Adventures of the Nippy" , a very interesting story of the dying days of the Ashton and Peak Forest canals in the 50's and 60's and their subsequent re-opening. I went on a first date on Lancing in 1972 with a trip from Marple to near Bollington.
  14. billh

    oil pressure and flow gpm

    The National book says set to 12-15psi if I remember rightly. .Your 80 to 100 is way too much- do you have problems with oil leaks? I have yet to find an old diesel of any make that uses much above 40 psi and old Kelvins don't have or need any oil pressure!
  15. billh

    How many pups are left

    "Gi' us a job, I can do dah" They did and look what happened

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